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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. All of the other ways of knowing are controlled by language. What does this statement mean and do you think it is a fair representation of the relationship between perception, emotion, reason and language?

    Or it might as well be the times table. One times one is one, two times one is two, and so on. These things can be proven by anybody again. Implicit knowledge[2] is therefore all of what is not included in explicit knowledge. When you have implicit knowledge you know how to do something without the ability to describe what you are doing. For example when you are thirsty: you know that you need to drink something to get rid of your thirst, but what you don?t know, is how your body jumps to the conclusion that it is thirsty.

    • Word count: 1269
  2. Scholarship should be awarded based on social economic status and not on academic achievement. Discuss.

    Parents work hard to send their kids to school so that their children?s life would be better than theirs. Getting a good education is one of the ways to grant a scholarship. A scholarship is just like winning money, except in a form of education. People these days need a degree in a profession in order to get a good job with lucrative salary that enables them to live with the country with high cost of living. However the competition to get a scholarship is not easy these days as more of people getting good results academically. Moreover, the government has less fund to support the future generations? studies local or overseas.

    • Word count: 629
  3. Do we perceive the world directly?

    Sense data mediate between the perceiver and the world. Taking the example of an apple, representative realism states we see only a representation of the apple in our minds and therefore it is not seen directly. I believe we do perceive the world directly because all arguments against naive realism can be counter attacked successfully. Indirect realists use illusions as a way of arguing against direct realism. For example, the bent stick illusion: when we see a straight stick in water we perceive it to be bent, yet we know that it is straight.

    • Word count: 1056
  4. Free Will vs Determinism Questions

    In this case, a person would simply succumb to what determinism entails, and would make no effort to change things about themselves. It is important for humanity to believe in free will because that is the only way that people can make a difference and decide for themselves how they want to live their lives. 1. How does causation affect the debate between free will and determinism? 1. When one considers the debate between free will and determinism, causation makes a big impact.

    • Word count: 1030
  5. The Possession of Knowledge carries an Ethical Responsibility. Evaluate this claim.

    Personal discoveries are categorized as first-hand knowledge and others? findings, second-hand knowledge. As knowledge is developed and shared amongst different parties, it will gradually be seen as ?common sense?. Although concepts and theories contained in knowledge may be modified over time, it is likely for certain central concepts to remain highly similar. The natural sciences are an area of knowledge. It believes that ?true? knowledge is derived from logical reasoning and scientific theories which can be explained and understood by different parties. Ethical responsibilities are branches of the area of knowledge ethics.

    • Word count: 1752
  6. We all have different realities; we experience different things, we might try to understand someone elses pain or joy, but we will never actually feel or live what it is that they experienced

    I believe that two people cannot have, see or feel the same reality, simply because reality is completely personal and subjective. Each person goes through different experiences, and what is real for them can be only fiction for another. Sometimes we are not even able to understand our own realities, how are we supposed to understand other?s realities? This thought has been with me ever since I was little; it was an idea that stayed with me and one, which I always think about.

    • Word count: 553
  7. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.(Christopher Hitchens) Do you Agree?

    One particular strength of the widespread use of evidence based theories in the scientific community is that it creates a standard that must be met for a particular theory to be validated. Theories like Einstein?s theory of relativity have been proven and supported by numerous studies and research. Thus, anyone who wanted to disprove Einstein?s theory would need to not only disprove the theory itself, but also determine why all of the supporting research is incorrect. While the subjectivity of evidence may affect its perception, and thus the conclusion drawn, simply having some form of logical grounding makes that particular claim much more reliable.

    • Word count: 1597
  8. Theory of Knowledge Essay -Discuss how using different methods of justification enables one to reach conclusions in ethics that can be supported just the same as those conclusions provided in mathematics

    The four methods of justification, identified by Michael Woolman, are justifying through logic, justifying using empiricism, justifying using memory and justifying with a reference of authority. In a vaguer sense the types of justification are basically either logical, physical or emotional justification. These methods of justification are all interrelated yet different according to the specific situation you are dealing with. Something that I found very interesting is that I consider both mathematics and ethics justified by the same method which is logic.

    • Word count: 965
  9. In Bernard Lonergans book, the Method in Theology, the importance of various factors that go into penetrating the Human Good is addressed.

    Feelings are developed by non-intentional states and goals. Non-intentional states are bodily based and they describe such states as fatigue, irritability, bad humor, anxiety, hunger and so forth. States are the causes of ones affect and trends are goals regarding ones reaction. Lonergan states that ?The feeling itself does not presuppose and arise out of perceiving, imagining, representing the cause or goal. Rather, one first feels tired and, perhaps belatedly, one discovers that what one needs is a rest, first one feels hungry and then one diagnoses the trouble as a lack of food.? (Method p.

    • Word count: 1076
  10. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of reason as a way of knowing

    Thoreau then contradicts his own previous deductive statement to prove and emphasise other issues ? when referring back to the syllogism about my brother, the conclusion that ?my brother is extremely intelligent? is true only if the premises are true. However, how do we know that the premises are true? Such knowledge cannot be conjured out of pure logic, but is in fact based upon experience (or inductive reasoning) to prove such claims. Other questions arise as a result ? how reliable is inductive reasoning?

    • Word count: 1680
  11. TOK areas of knowledge, ways of knowing related to Ramadan

    We obtain knowledge through his rhetorical language describing religion. After his preach everyone prays following the Imam facing Makah. During the prayers the imam recite the Quran in its Arabic text. The WOK of language appears three times, in Turkish, English than Arabic. Emotion- Muslims have two major holidays a year, similar to Christians who have Christmas and Easter. Ramadan is the bigger of the two and would be the equivalent of Christmas for Muslims. The WOK in emotion is present during this holiday. People build up excitement from weeks before.

    • Word count: 460
  12. Science and an accumulation of facts -TOK essay

    Theories of science help us comprehend the characteristics and processes of nature?s events. Karl Popper believed that scientific theories need to be falsified in order to qualify as ?scientific theories?. This means that for any hypothesis to be true, it must be disprovable in at least one way. If it is disapproved, a new scientific theory is formed. Max Planck said, ?A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.? Hence, one theory is formed from another and in this way new ideas are replaced by old ones.

    • Word count: 1106
  13. TOK - is it dangerous to trust experts?

    I think that an expert it is an individual that has done outstanding works in whatsoever topic or themes that it relates to the subject of him/her. Also to be expert it must need a lot of years of experience, thus should be and adult or even an older people. With all these characteristics I would trust them but not in a 100%, because despite they are humans (humans make errors), with the accumulation of years, every person get some sort of error, only because of the fact that the person is much older, and his/her brain isn?t that accurate as years ago.

    • Word count: 532
  14. Extended Essay. How do social class and gender affect the pursuit of happiness in Emily Brontes Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Brontes Jane Eyre?

    Love is the defining factor in the lives of many people. There is nothing that can stop a person from getting what or who they truly love. But sometimes there may be obstacles in your way. When you live, or lived, in a world with equality issues, dominant social classes, and close mindedness, there may be some restrictions placed upon you. In 19th century England, there was a lot of pressure on wealthy men when it came too marriage. There were certain values that the rich were expected to follow. Things like social class, culture, education and class differences prohibited certain actions.

    • Word count: 4111
  15. Free Will and Determinism

    Causation is an essential element to the debate of free will and determinism. From what we understand, an effect that doesn?t have a cause is rendered unfathomable and unable to be able to be processed by the human mind. With that being said, causation has a deep root in both sides to this debate. The whole use of causation from a deterministic perspective is to say that a certain event is to be caused by only one specific event.

    • Word count: 1163
  16. How far can we rely on our senses to tell us the truth?

    Our senses are a yard stick that help us measure the depth of a moment, an argument or an entire instance in our life. Are our senses are only way of knowing ? How far can we rely on our senses to give us an average representation of reality ? Truly speaking relying on our senses to help us know the truth is the minimal requirement. If we do not rely on our senses or can?t trust them we end up in self doubt.

    • Word count: 806
  17. The more falsifiable a theory is, the better it is. Discuss.

    nor "When is a theory acceptable?" my problem was different. I wished to distinguish between science and pseudo-science?. Pseudo-science, known as the ?fake science?, ?claims the status of science while lacking its substance?. Karl thought that if a theory is falsifiable, it is scientific, and if it is not, then it is unscientific. From this point of view, we can see an advantage for a theory to be falsifiable-simply to be scientific. ?Science? as ?a stamp of guarantee of quality?, sometimes it?s important for the public to realize about the falsifiability of the belief they denote.

    • Word count: 1685
  18. Essay plan. The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility. Evaluate this claim.

    How do you know how big the impact of the knowledge you are giving will have on the recipient? Ways of knowing, Areas of knowledge that are involved. Ways of knowing Reason ? Has huge relevance to the essay title. You use reason to decide how the knowledge you have will affect the recipient and if it is ethically responsible to do this. Emotion ? Emotion will always affect your decisions when doing something, For example if you don?t want to say something to someone as it may hurt them but they have a right to know. Introduction: State my view on the claim, whether I agree/ disagree I agree with the statement above, its up to you whether or not to impart certain knowledge you have, depending on the situation.

    • Word count: 616
  19. How certain can we be in the natural sciences?

    People used to believe that earth was flat, or that the sun revolved around the earth. These theories were later proven wrong as the time went by. However, if they were not, people would still believe that they were true and we would be taught this knowledge. So how can we trust that some of things we learn to day, like the atomic model in physics is accurate? Someone may prove it wrong later. This is reason as to why we cannot be certain about what we learn. Also, when we conduct an experiment, it is important to have an hypothesis beforehand.

    • Word count: 715
  20. P. Dirac quote - both poetry and science contribute in the expansion of humans knowledge in different methods.

    Such knowledge can be attained through many different methods, in this case through science and poetry. Science is an organized body of knowledge that is derived from observations and that can be tested in order to be verified. Poetry can be defined in many different ways; it is relative to each person; however one of the most recognizable characteristic is the economy of words. Both poetry and science present different kinds of knowledge such that the knowledge from poetry is attributed, whereas knowledge from science discovered. Together, they provide and expand human?s knowledge. To begin with, Albert Einstein once said: ?Imagination is more important than knowledge.? Poems are the combination of words to form verses of short sentences.

    • Word count: 1023
  21. TOK. Consider the extent to which complete certainty might be achievable in mathematics and at least one other area of knowledge.

    In the end there is a definite possibility of that axioms being wrong, contradicting the issue of absolute truth in that proof. Logic is frequently used by mathematicians; historians etc. to support and justify their subjects in arguments. But what is logic? For humans, it?s an everyday use in our lives. For instance, suppose you were to travel for a business conference on Sunday and Today is Wednesday, and you had to get your clothes from the dry cleaner which you know will take an hour.

    • Word count: 1383
  22. Discuss the view that we cannot justify absolutist moral rules in a multi cultural society.

    Hence this essay sets out to explore to what extent absolutist moral rules can be justified in a multi cultural society and if an alternative view on moral rules could be justified better. The philosopher Plato would argue that we can justify absolutist moral rules independent of the multi cultural society. He thought that moral absolutes such as goodness and justice really existed in some way, beyond our normal perceptions of the world. However except his strong belief that such an eternal world exists he does not have any evidential proof to justify his moral values.

    • Word count: 1603
  23. Can a Machine Know?

    For example self automated robotic arms are used in car production with almost no human assistance, because there are no humans around we believe the machines possess the knowledge, with their computer chips contain the data, to take action or stop if there is something wrong in the production line. Of course the robot will have some preset functions in case of a problem however they cannot be ready for anything that goes wrong, they don?t possess the knowledge to do everything, therefore in this situation a machine cannot know.

    • Word count: 537
  24. How certain can we be in the Natural Sciences?

    This causes uncertainty in these Natural Sciences and therefore this essay will focus on how certain one can be in the Natural Sciences. To begin with, there are various reasons to why we should not be entirely certain about the Natural Sciences, the main one being the fact that they are studied and brought to a conclusion by human beings. Humans tend to research deeply into various categories in these Natural Sciences, gain various knowledge that was aimed to be studied and hence conclude their findings as laws or facts.

    • Word count: 886
  25. When (if ever) should we trust our senses to give us truth?

    After deeper contemplation of possible reasons the human race has not yet discovered its purpose, perhaps it is more likely that there is not truth. Our species along with all others on this planet are merely a trivial example of possible organisms that can be found perhaps throughout the universe (why limit the example to one universe). The point is however perhaps the development of life is merely a process, there is no silver lining to existence, no truth or higher state of consciousness on which to base our lives upon.

    • Word count: 1054

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